Whenever you sign a customer, they have expectations from your product regarding the value it will generate for them. The time taken for your customers to realize this value is called time to value or TTV. Naturally, B2B SaaS companies strive to have the shortest TTV possible so that their customers obtain the value they signed up for and become regular users and promoters of the product. Getting a good time to value involves optimizing the training and adoption procedures which can be an extensive process. Depending on the complexity of your product and the size of the customer, the TTV can vary.
Generating quick wins is an important aspect of getting to the right TTV. Quick wins are usually easily achievable goals or outcomes for your customer which keeps them inclined towards adopting your product further and seeing its value. Scheduling quick wins throughout the customer journey, especially at the start, will help your customers see measurable progress and make them more likely to go through with completely adopting your product.
Having shorter TTVs can help improve the experience your customers have with your product and reduce churn. Personalized onboarding tactics and allowing customers to track their own progress can help reduce churn. The time to value metric is important from the customer success standpoint since it helps retain customers and improve the adoption of your product.
Types of time to value.
Time to value SaaS can be divided into the following types:
- Time to basic value: Time to basic value refers to the time it takes for customers to realize the basic benefits that your product offers. Ideally, the route to achieving the time to basic value should involve a short learning curve so that your customers quickly see the basic appeal of using your product. Moreover, having a short basic TTV will make your customers more inclined to try out newer features which can be further value addition.
- Time to exceed value: Time to exceed value measures the time it takes for your customers to achieve returns from your product that are greater than their monetary investment. This happens on a more long-term basis as your customers adopt more and more features which add additional value apart from the core functionalities that your product offers. However, for your customers to get to this stage, they first need to achieve the basic value which made them sign up to use your product. Time to exceed value is an important metric to measure from an upselling and cross-selling perspective. Upselling and cross-selling are more likely to be successful after a customer has crossed the time to exceed value threshold along the customer journey. Accurately quantifying and tracking time to exceed value can result in your customer success team deriving additional revenue from existing customers.
How to reduce time to value.
As evident, having a short time to value customer success can be incredibly useful for SaaS companies. Here are a few strategies that can be implemented to improve time to value:
- Personalized onboarding: The fastest way to reduce the time to value and improve the onboarding process is to personalize the onboarding process for your customers. Not all your customers interact with your product the same way or follow the exact same customer journey. Thus personalizing their onboarding journey by providing personalized milestones, tracking and support can greatly reduce the time to value and set them on the path to becoming promoters of your product.
- Using checklists: The onboarding stage can often become chaotic especially when you as a company have to deal with the onboarding of numerous customers. Personalized checklists to help keep track of the progress your customers make can help improve the time to value. It can also allow you to intervene in a timely manner when you see the onboarding or adoption progress of your customers slowing down. Moreover, you can offer personalized support at critical junctures when your customer’s interest in your product wanes.
- Designing several customer journeys: Even though you may have an ideal customer journey mapped out, not all of your customers will experience this since they all have different requirements and goals. Thus, it can be helpful to break down your customer base into different sections based on industry or size and then design separate customer journeys for each section. This will bring in an aspect of personalization and allow onboarding plans to be more tailored to customer needs thus improving the time to value. Each section can have a customer journey that helps them achieve their separate goals and experience quick wins based on their needs.
- Shorten the learning curve: One of the biggest reasons why SaaS products experience lower rates of adoption and satisfaction is the steep learning curve involved with some of them. To improve the time to value, it is crucial to shorten the learning curve so that customers become more likely to adopt your product. You can do this by making the training process interactive and by breaking it down step-by-step. Moreover, providing a certain degree of handholding in the initial days of onboarding always goes a long way.
- Check for satisfaction at each step: Instead of sending out periodic customer satisfaction surveys, try to get feedback at each step of the adoption process. This will help you identify bottlenecks and figure out where your customers are struggling the most. Moreover, getting feedback after every step allows customer success managers to proactively reach out to customers and assist them before customers raise queries or complaints.